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Boredom Busters: Best Things to Do During the Pandemic by Matan R.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and school partially online, finding enjoyable activities to do can be a challenge, especially when your parents might limit your screen time. Spring break is also coming up, giving kids even more time and not very much to do. Not to worry! Here is a list of 15 fun activities to do while avoiding screens, so you won’t have to sit around bored any longer!

#15: Do Your Homework & Chores

No one likes doing homework or chores, but our parents sometimes make us do them. So, if you have homework or chores to do, you might as well get them over with first, so that you can do more fun activities without worrying about your parents nagging you.

#14: Play at a Playground

Playgrounds are a fun place to visit outside, even when you’re in middle school. There are all kinds of spinning toys, slides, swings, monkey bars, and more that can pass the time. Plus, being outside is good for you. Make sure to wear a face mask when you’re near other kids and use hand sanitizer and/or wash your hands afterwards.

#13: Meditation

Especially when you’re stressed out or annoyed, meditating is a good way to pass the time. Just sit down or lay down, set a timer for five minutes and focus on your breathing. There are also online classes you can listen to for free on YouTube telling you specific ways to breathe and what to think about, or you could listen to music as you meditate.

#12: Mind Puzzles

Mind puzzles, such as word searches and sudokus, can be a decent way to pass time. It’s easy to get lost in a puzzle, and they are also loads of fun. There are all kinds of mind teasers out there you can print off the internet.

#11: Play a Game

Games have existed for thousands of years. They are an ancient way to have fun that is still popular today. A lot of games are multiplayer, but there are games you can play on your own, like Jenga or hopscotch. There are all kinds of games, ranging from card games to board games to word games.

#10: Hang Out With or Call Your Friends

During the pandemic, seeing friends is tough. You also can’t always see your friends if they don’t live nearby. However, seeing your friends is a great activity, just make sure to stay safe while doing so. Meeting in someone’s backyard or at a public park are good ways to spend time with each other. If seeing your friends isn’t possible, you could call them instead.

#9: Listen to Music and Relax

Lay down on your bed or sit down in a chair, play your favorite songs, and just relax. All you need is a way to play some music and a quiet, comfortable room.

#8: Learn a New Skill

Learning a new skill is harder than a lot of the other activities on this list, but it is often more rewarding too. Some examples of skills you could learn include: how to solve a Rubix cube, how to code, how to build a robot, and much more. It's never too late to learn something new.

#7: Write a Story

Writing is fun, especially fictional writing. Get out a piece of paper and something to write with and just let the writing take you away. Writing is a way to be creative while making a story for yourself and others to read. The nice thing about writing is that you can work on it forever and keep improving it, unlike some of the other activities on this list that have time limitations.

#6: Join a Club at Julius West

There are dozens of clubs at Julius West to join. Okay, technically they are online, but most parents would make an exception for a school club. Clubs are a way to do activities you love with other kids and teachers from JW. A complete list of the clubs and their Zoom information can be found here.

#5: Go for a Walk Outside

Going outside is always good and going for a walk is something you can always do outside. Toss on a jacket or sweatshirt if you need to and walk around outside for a little while. Fresh air is always good.

#4: Art Project

Art is an interesting way to express yourself, and also something that kills a lot of time. There are many different art forms, and you can do them over and over again if you want. Some examples of specific kinds of art you can do include painting, paper mache, and drawing. These activities require little equipment and materials most people already have.

#3: Bake or Cook

Baking or cooking is cool because you get to taste what you make when you’re done, plus it’s a fun activity to do that others can enjoy with you. I would recommend making desserts or things that are sweet, like chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes. All you need are some ingredients, a recipe, and some patience.

#2: Read a Book

There are billions of different kinds of books out there. You could listen to an e-book or an audiobook online. You could borrow a book from Julius West or the Montgomery County Public Library. You could buy a book, or you could read a book you already own. Even reading a good book you’ve already read many times before is still fun.

#1: Play a Sport/Exercise

Personally, I've found that exercise is the best thing to do when you're bored because it helps clear your mind and keep you healthy. You can also exercise all the time in a lot of different ways, so exercising is something you can do infinite times. You can also progress with exercise and challenge yourself over time, unlike some of the other ideas on the list. My favorite way to exercise is doing sports because they are often competitive, which I think makes it more fun. Also, anyone can exercise or play sports, even if there’s no one else around. I became a runner, which is a sport anyone can do. You can run with someone or by yourself with little to no equipment--all you need are athletic shoes and a place to run.

Even though we're transitioning to hybrid learning, kids still have a lot more time before school, after school, between classes, on weekends, and during Spring Break. The COVID-19 pandemic has limited the amount of fun ideas we can do, as many of the activities we used to enjoy aren’t safe right now. Hopefully this list gave you some good ideas to combat the boredom!

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